Given the makeup of the court and previous statements by its members, it comes as no surprise that the supreme court (and I'm just going to refuse to capitalize all these bastards--that's my ruling) has ruled that the navy has the right to play with its sonar no matter how many whales it kills or injures.
Cited in its decision was a 1986 decision requiring them to "give great deference to the professional judgment of military authorities". You know, the professionals who are still looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and bin laden (bastard) on the bush (another bastard) ranch. They are clearly not required to give any such deference to the professional judgment of ecologists because they state that "even if plaintiffs have shown irreparable injury from the navy's training exercises, any such interest is outweighed by the public interest and the navy's interest". I guess that covers their asses considering that the navy itself has predicted that their exercises will cause lasting injury and disrupt the lives of whales, dolphins, and sea lions.
This is all just part of the current administration's tactic that government agencies are not required to follow environmental laws. For example, under the National Environmental Protection Act (I'll capitalize that one), the navy should have been required to prepare an environmental impact statement before doing their exercises. Instead, they'll publish it after the exercises are complete--apparently, it's easier to count the dead whales that way.
In deferring to the military, the court quoted their own pro-guantanimo ruling of last year that judges "do not begin the day with briefings that may describe new and serious threats to our nation and its people". Nor obviously with briefings which describe the death and destruction caused by our nation and its people. They hastened to add that military interests do not always trump other interests, but that in this case "the proper determination of where the public interest lies does not strike us as a close question".
The problem here is a too narrow view of who makes up the public and what makes up its long-term interest. There aren't any whales or Iraqis included in this court's public so their interests are not considered. I suppose this would be an example where legislation granting legal rights to non-human animals might make a difference since it would then be something a court would have to consider--but you know a whale will never be considered as important as a human, and an Iraqi will never be considered as important as an american. And before that legislation passes, the supreme court and the rest of our civilization will have crumbled and been covered with kudzu--and that's in the larger public's interest.
Tim Bob: Scientific Reticence
7 hours ago